Who knew Tiffany’s baby shower would be the place where all hell broke loose? Probably Mona Scott-Young — and us. We knew.
The first half of the latest episode of “Insecure” is going great, for the most part. Issa started working on her passion project, a neighborhood block party, with the emotional support of Nathan, who has finally told her he really likes her. Karma has bitten two characters in the dick — Lawrence found out he has an STI and Chad was dumped after cheating on his fiancée. Kelli has pulled out Gladys Knight’s cookbook to bake for Tiffany’s baby shower. And Molly has kept turning down dates with decent men and lusting over a relationship she’s prevented herself from having — so she’s being the same ol’ Season 3 Molly.
But when the crew steps into Tiffany’s coed baby shower, it quickly becomes the most climatic setting of this season. Issa and Molly are introduced to Tiffany’s baby shower planning committee, the “Crazy Crew” — or her core friend group’s replacements, depending on how you look at it — and a series of VH1-inspired events follow. Issa realizes that Nathan has ghosted her after texting him about the Lyft investigation from the night he fought Suge Lite in her car. Tiffany disrespects Kelli, her best friend, and they damn near fall out. Molly tries to be nice to Dro and it backfires. She then gets upset later when she finds out that he got his wife pregnant. (Girl.)
TL;DR: This episode was a hot ass mess. The only good thing that came out of this party was Issa realizing that she’s finally moved on from Lawrence. Hopefully, he doesn’t take that as his cue to shoot his shot with his ex.
On this edition of #RunThatBack, Julia Craven and Taryn Finley discuss the difference between self-blame and taking accountability, the double standards attached to cheating and whether or not a couch can contract chlamydia.
The episode begins in the 7-Eleven, with Issa asking Lawrence how he’s been. And, apparently, he’s been having a lot of unprotected sex — so much that he contracts an STI and had to make the required phone calls informing his slew of sexual partners that they may have been exposed. He even calls a woman he didn’t sleep with and she drags him for not being able to keep track of who he’s fucking. Lawrence laments to his friends that he can’t keep living this way, as it’s really stressful and he’s too old for such shenanigans.
Taryn: Somebody is getting these hands today.
Julia: I support your right to throw hands with whomever you please wherever you please.
Taryn: Good, because it’s specifically this episode. I’ve never wanted to throw a drink at the TV more than I did after this VH1-inspired mess. @ithinkmark asked if Mona Scott-Young wrote this episode and I have reason to believe she did.
Julia: I saw a tweet asking if Mona Scott Young wrote this one and you know I’d also like to know.
Jinx. I want my three green smoothies. You owe me.
Taryn: I got you in three paydays.
Julia: And, for non-black readers, this is what we call Nigga Shit.
(Note: I don’t drink sodas, so I’ve been fighting for my green juices.)
Taryn: I can’t afford $45 smoothies rn cause I’m busy booking a flight to personally confront a gaggle of fictional characters on this show called “You Got Me Fucked Up.”
(Notha note: Mind you, a pop is 50 cent so this is what we call Bougie Nigga Shit.)
Julia: Wow. Now I’m bougie for prioritizing my health. See, this is why you niggas — I’m kidding lmao. Idc. We not respectable like that on this side.
So, tell me what’s most on your spirit today? Because I feel personally attacked by the episode. Well, maybe not personally, but I wanna fight the writer.
Taryn: I’m gonna go ahead and go in the order of the progrum (yes, progrum) today because I was really happy at the beginning of this episode. My girl Issa left the Seven L’em with her head high and pussy on Fiji. She was getting the ball rolling on CoCochella (or whatever she’s calling her block party) and laying up with Nathan. Then we have Lawrence aka Satan aka the bad hoe (and I don’t mean that in a good way). When they told me that man’s dick was burning, I jumped for all the joy.
Julia: The devil always gone burn. But this is actually where my Lawrence praise comes in — even though it was nice to see him suffering in some kinda way. I do want to applaud him for making those phone calls and alerting his partners of his diagnosis since so many people don’t have symptoms.
But then at the same time, this nigga can’t even keep track of who he raw doggin’. So my praise is very short. It goes no further than that.
Taryn: The responsible thing. Something a lot of y’all should do but don’t. You get one clap and that’s it from me. Maybe two cause I’m glad you got tested in the first place. But don’t fret. I’ll drag you a lil more later, Lawrence. Let’s get to your ashy ass friend now.
Julia: Chad is the embodiment of the phrase “The Ghetto.”
Taryn: He really is. We knew he wasn’t about to call anybody a wife while you out here tossing your dick in every crevice of LA. Following in Chad’s footsteps is why Lawrence thought he could be Uncle Luke of the West. It just doesn’t happen. The consequences these two idiots faced is what happens when you don’t hoe responsibly. Now hoe is life. Don’t get it twisted. But it’s not for people who don’t know what they’re doing. When you hoe responsibly, you don’t end up with VD or getting left at the altar.
Julia: The fact that he blew his engagement so that he could titty-fuck some dancers is beyond my comprehension. If you’re engaged, you can’t fully hoe. Period. The end. There’s nothing appealing or cute about it. If anything, Leah dodged a bullet.
I just …. I don’t understand that mindset. You blew your engagement and years-long relationship for one night? So you not only a cheater, you’re irresponsible and impulsive.
Chad the business owner out here making bad business decisions. Trash.
Taryn: Leah did the right thing. Stand his ass up, girl. Head for the hills. Chad think he Dro in some open relationship shit. The nerve. I don’t even think that was his first time cheating. Remember he was flirting with the lady he was showing a home to last season. Chad dick been loose.
Julia: And Leah probably knew that, because women be knowing — and when she got this level of confirmation she dipped.
Taryn: He blew his wedding day/marriage for a titty fuck. Wow. Imagine the amount of stupidity that would have to sit on your head for you to do some shit like that?
Julia: Right. A titty fuck. If you’re gonna blow your engagement, you could have at least had a threesome or actually got some pussy. Dumb ass.
Julia: Marry a man who’ll call you drunk from his bachelor party because he wants to have sex with YOU — not whomever is in front of him. And that isn’t shade to the dancers. They got a check. They heauxin the way one should heaux if you gon’ heaux.
Be the dancers who got paid. Don’t be Chad.
Taryn: HELLO! I’m really pissed at how good Lawrence looks. Fuck him.
Julia: He looks amazing. It’s so infuriating. Also, his couch is disgusting. He been having raw sex all over it. Raw, burnt dick sex at that. 🤮
Taryn: Aint it leather too? Yuck.
Ok, I just checked. It ain’t leather. It’s some type of cloth which is worse.
Julia: Much worse.
Taryn: Why he don’t like fucking in bed?
Julia: He may not want everybody under his sheets which I get that. I don’t play that either.
Taryn: Understandable. But still, take the couch out back and burn it.
Julia: That couch gotta go. That couch got chlamydia too.
Meanwhile, Issa is working to make her block party a reality. While at city hall, she finds that the task requires a lot of paperwork — and determination. When she gets down on herself after a city government worker discourages her — claiming the events never work “in our communities” — Nathan tells her to keep doing what needs to be done to make her passions happen. We later find the pair cuddling in bed and Nathan asks Issa how you know if something is real. In a super cute moment, they finally confess that they like each other.
Taryn: Anywho, I’m really proud of Issa for having a passion project and trying to follow through. Old Issa didn’t have this much will.
Julia: Same! I’m happy she’s trying to figure it out. And that she’s realizing how hard it is and, kinda, seeing how tough it was for Lawrence. I think she has far more willpower and motivation than he did, but I never felt like she understood how difficult launching a project on your own was. Now she gets it, which will make her more open-minded and understanding in her next relationship.
Keyword: NEXT, not SECOND TRY with Lawrence.
Taryn: Hopefully it makes her more forgiving of herself, too. Because she’s felt like so much has been her fault (her failed relationships, her demotion at work, her friend issues, being homeless, etc.), I think she’s harboring some guilt that’s holding her back from realizing her true potential. She needs this project. Badly. More than just to say she has it, but to prove to herself that she’s not a fuck-up.
Julia: And it blows me how much women hold on to failures adjacent to us. Just because a relationship or a work thing fell apart doesn’t mean we ourselves are failures. I’m speaking to my own experiences here because I know for me if something I am a part of falls apart, I tend to blame myself when I shouldn’t do that.
Sometimes it is on me. Other times, shit just happened. I blamed myself for the downfall of my last relationship for so long when, in reality, we were just two people in two different places who weren’t divinely ordained for one another. I let it go and I met Hashtag Bae
Taryn: And you can’t blame yourself. Taking accountability and blaming yourself are two totally different things, and oftentimes we’re only taught the latter because black women have to bear the burden of so much. It’s not fair.
So many things stand in her way. The fact that she’s broke is a huge one, but I also think it’s the general lack of belief in Issa that this show revolves around. The lady at city hall told her she should quit because of this stereotypical idea that black and brown communities can’t have nice things without them getting fucked up. But also, the only feedback her friends gave her was them laughing about what she’s naming it. I felt for Issa.
Julia: Taking accountability and blaming yourself are two totally different things and, oftentimes we’re only taught the latter because black women have to bear the burden of so much.
Bitch, I don’t think the front of the church heard that.
Taryn: I said *clears throat* 🗣TAKING ACCOUNTABILITY AND BLAMING YOURSELF ARE TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT THINGS!!!!! STOP BLAMING BLACK WOMEN. BLACK WOMEN, STOP BLAMING YOURSELVES!!!!
Julia: And it’s wild because we internalize this blame and this idea that we’re failures just because shit hasn’t panned out the way we THOUGHT it SHOULD. My therapist told me to “Free yourself of the word ‘should.’” So I have a lil note in my bathroom that says “I give myself permission to let go of what I think my life should look like.”
Taryn: I’m about to steal this because I need to read that every day.
Julia: There’s something freeing about letting go of how things should be and immersing yourself in how they are, how they can be better, how you can be better. That’s what I want for Issa and I’m glad we’re seeing it on the horizon for her. I also want that for Molly, but that’s a different conversation.
Taryn: I think that’s why Issa leans on Nathan’s support so much. He’s the only one who’s supporting her in this way. Well, he was, but we’ll get there in a few. But she gotta learn how to not be dependent on his support and find motivation from herself as well as other sources. (I say other sources, too, because some days it’s just not in us to be enough motivation and we gotta look to friends, books, crystals or whatever else finds your lost remote.)
Oh yes, I got something in the chamber for Molly, too. Per usual.
Julia: There’s always something in the chamber for Molly. Bless her heart.
Taryn: Pour holy water on the child.
Julia: I need her to do better. But what’s next on the progrum? We following Bishop Finley’s service today.
When Andrew returns Molly’s jacket, he asks her out on a date. She declines, citing work commitments, and he tells her to keep it in mind. Later, while she’s preparing for Tiffany’s baby shower with Kelli and Issa, she opines about dating for marriage, seeing herself with a black man and being “Orthodox Black.” Lyft has also opened an investigation into the assault that happened in her car during episode 1 and, coincidentally, Nathan has also ghosted Issa.
Taryn: Let’s go ahead and get Molly outta the way cause she sleeping on her own happiness, yet again. I really want her to get out of her own way and give Andrew a real chance. Not the chance she gave Lil Rel last season but a real chance.
Julia: As do I. Andrew is fine af and he’s into her. I don’t see the issue, especially considering her complaints that she can’t make it past the first date. Of course you can’t when you don’t let people take you on dates.
Taryn: Andrew is fine, tall, and didn’t run away when Molly was a wreck last week at Coachella. She’s so stuck on what she thinks is perfection that she disregards things in the present that are perfect for her. Not saying that she’ll marry Andrew or anything, but she hasn’t put in the work to know what a healthy relationship looks like for her. She too grown for all them games.
Julia: She’s someone who wants the perfect relationship and the perfect man to fall into her lap. She wants the work to already be done. Now, I’m not saying that anybody should take a broken partner and “fix” them. What I am saying is that like she has trauma and baggage, so does everybody else. So, like a man is gonna have to put in effort to be with her, she’s gonna have to return that with somebody whom she finds to be worth it.
Julia: People are fucked up and it’s work to date another human. It always will be. You just gotta figure out your lines and, honestly, those are going to become more fluid as the relationship progresses. Some lines ain’t fluid (like any type of abuse), but you get me.
Taryn: Totally. I want Molly to prosper in her love life (which includes self-love) but she gotta understand that takes the same amount of energy she pours into her professional life.
Julia: Mhm. And black women can have both! We can have self-love, romantic love and a prosperous career.
Taryn: And anybody who says otherwise can honestly fight their mother.
Julia: This reminds me of a conversation me and HashtagBae were having this weekend. We were talking about how letting go of romanticized views of romantic love helped us become better partners. Once you see someone for who they are — without the rose-colored glasses, without the honeymoon stage blinding you — you can better assess things. That’s what Molly gotta do for herself and for any relationship. We can’t go into relationships with the idea that it’s gonna be some Disney Princess shit because it ain’t (and all them princes was BIG TRASH anyway).
The love you have for your partner comes from the same place as the love for your friends, for your family and yourself. The minute you realize that … dealing with other humans and their bullshit becomes easier.
Taryn: Yes! Exactly. This Instagram version of love got folks fucked up. Molly is comparing what her relationships are supposed to be to what she perceives her parents’ (until she found out her dad cheated) and friends’ relationships to be. That won’t work for her because she’s not in those relationships.
Julia: And what Molly saw with her mom is that — obvs depending on circumstances and the individuals involved — not everybody throws away a relationship just because their partner fucked up. One thing that I’d love to see her accept about relationships is that people aren’t the sum of their mistakes. Now, whether you stay or not when they majorly fuck up? That’s for YOU to decide in YOUR relationship. But you can’t insert yourself in or compare your situations to your mom’s or friend’s relationship like that.
Taryn: Mmmhm. Yup. And don’t get me wrong. I LOVE black men and see myself marrying a black man for I, too, am an Orthodox Black. BUT that doesn’t mean life won’t throw me an Andrew and shake my plans up. I love how the show addresses interracial relationships because I do think it’s difficult for a lot of black women to see themselves with anyone other than a black man. Which is understandable, given A) how black women are treated and B) how black women have to navigate through the world to ensure our survival.
Julia: And C) not necessarily true. I’m an Orthodox Black myself but, like you said, I ain’t turning down an Andrew when I’m looking for love. And Andrew is FINE AF OKURRRR.
Julia: One last thing before the baby shower: D) Not every date has to be you looking for a husband! Jesus, I hate that mentality. It’s so stifling. You can also date for fun and see where things go. We all know women (it’s mostly women) who date for marriage and not for fun. It’s sad. We can date to have fun just like boys can!
Taryn: Right. Sometimes you just want to have fun with someone new and that’s OK.
Just to Run That Back a bit — get it? It’s not funny? OK, cool — during the main Lawrence segment, he has drinks with Chad and Derek. We learn that Leah has dumped Chad after he cheated on her during his bachelor party. What ensues is a conversation about the double standard of cheating from the male perspective.
Julia: Has there ever been a show to address the cheating double standard in a thoughtful way from the male perspective?
Taryn: I’m not sure, tbh. I doubt it. Chad sitting there talking bout Leah can take him back and forgive him for cheating, meanwhile he’s agreeing that Lawrence shouldn’t take Issa back for doing the same thing. That was very nigga of him and it really irks me when men say shit like this. It’s not “different” when women cheat. It’s just as trash as when men cheat, yet when y’all do it, we’re expected to forgive you and stay to work through it. If that’s what you want to do, fine, but to have that pressure on us ain’t it.
This conversation was a long time coming for this show.
Julia: Right. Chad was bent because Leah flipped the role and dipped. Yet it’s different because Issa was a “hoe,” but nigga, what the fuck are you? I’m glad Lawrence and Derek were like “Uhm, sir ... now you did the same thing.”
We talk about it all the time on the internetz: Men get disastrously hurt when women do the shit to them that they do to women. And only when it’s done to them do they want retribution or for an ill to be addressed. Niggas aggy af.
Taryn: Chad is so problematic, bruh. LMAO. I laugh not because it’s funny-funny but because it’s funny how many folks think like him. Like him shaming Lawrence about having chlamydia was terrible and illustrated the misconceptions we have when talking about STIs. And before y’all try to drag me, no, I didn’t shame Lawrence for getting burnt but I did rejoice in the fact he got it so he could slow his hoe tf down cause clearly he’s hurt and trying to be somebody he’s not, which has been one of my biggest beefs with him since Season 2.
Julia: I was here. I saw no shaming.
Taryn: Thank you, auntie.
Julia: It’s just baffling to me because men think like Chad because of toxic masculinity. And that same toxic masculinity is why so many men are emotionally stunted. It’s like Lawrence and Derek were saying: It’s OK to be upset that Leah left you. It’s OK to be hurt, to be angry with yourself, with what happened. What’s not OK is tossing this double standard out, shaming Issa, making Leah out to be “trippin’” and shaming Lawrence for having an STI.
Taryn: THAT. MF. PART.
Julia: I guess Chad was my drag for the week. Onto that god forsaken, bullshit ass baby shower.
Finally, we make it to Tiffany’s baby shower. It’s a complete shit show. Upon their early arrival, Molly and Issa discover that their friend has another group of “best friends” who have planned the shower. This party planning crew also invited men — including Dro and Lawrence — and proceeded to treat Tiffany’s core group of friends like trash. When Kelli arrives with cupcakes she baked for the occasion, her batch is referred to as “backup” and Tiffany simply stands there as this unnamed woman berates Kelli’s contribution. It ends with Kelli, Molly and Issa walking out. Tiffany follows them and says no one offered to throw her a shower. Kelli speaks up and says that she, actually, did offer to throw one. Tiffany backtracks and says she thought the other women would do a better job because they have children and Kelli doesn’t. Inside, Issa and Lawrence run into each other and have a civil conversation. Molly tries to speak to Dro and he shuts her down. It ends with Molly finding out that Dro’s wife, Candice, is pregnant and Issa learning that Nathan has given a statement to Lyft even though he hasn’t returned her calls.
Taryn: That baby shower was a shit show if I ever saw one. Rolls up sleeves.
Julia: From start to fucking finish, it was such a mess. And I have so many unanswered questions. I’ll list them randomly as you drag everybody bc I doubt I’ll have much else to add.
Taryn: Now. Where to begin. The Tiffany Clones? The paintings? The debris ... I mean, men?
Julia: 1: Why the fuck would anyone have a coed baby shower in this context? I’ve been to coed baby showers that were fantastic but Tiffany’s event was clearly not going to work because it’s Tiffany. I ain’t having a coed shower when I get pregnant but I also don’t like men so there’s that.
Taryn: Tiffany and the 2 Live Crew or whoever tf they are didn’t think a lot of shit through.
Julia: Dro was so mad he was there and, as much as I don’t like him, if I had to tag myself? I’m Dro.
Taryn: I didn’t even know he was that cool with Tiffany and Derek at first. I thought he was somebody plus one.
Julia: 2: So Molly was not only fucking her childhood homie who is in an open marriage but she was fucking within her friend group while they weren’t in a relationship?
Taryn: Molly was being Molly, yes.
Julia: I have a lot of questions.
Taryn: Ain’t that just the dumbest shit you ever heard of?
Julia: 3: Did you write this? @monascottyoung
Taryn: I really need to know the answer to No. 3.
Julia: Def a Top 5 dumbest shit I’ve ever heard of.
Taryn: This whole baby shower was a mistake. But also everything that Tiffany could’ve asked for. It was top of the line bougie and inconsiderate of anything or anyone that didn’t meet her vision. Hell, she ever got a new gang of light-skinned, 3c-haired friends to help her put it together. A whole group of friends that Molly, Issa and Kelli never met before. Like, how your best friends never met or heard about your other best friends, sis?
Julia: 4: I didn’t know friends had to offer to throw a baby shower. I thought the mama and family did that? Also, your friends aren’t mind readers.
Taryn: I didn’t either. But, like Molly, Tiffany has been so preoccupied imagining what her perfect life as a mother would look like that she forgot that she still needed to cultivate her current friendships. Like, sis, you let your new lil friends treat Kelli and her Gladys Knight cupcakes like shit since the moment she walked through the door. This is your best friend, and you didn’t defend her in the least bit. You didn’t appreciate anything she had done for you. Thing is, Kelli did offer to throw you a baby shower but you thought ole girl would be a better fit because she has a child. That’s fucked up.
What you’re really saying to the group, but especially to Kelli, is that you don’t care about the shit they got going on because your new life involves people with husbands and kids. It’s one of the many passive-aggressive ways that Tiffany tries to belittle her friends and treat them as if they’re inferior or lacking. I felt the rejection Kelli faced. You took the most joyous and carefree person on this show who loves so hard and has been there for yo raggedy stuck-up ass from jump and ripped her heart apart. Tiffany, you really are the worst. Kelli deserves a better best friend than you. We’ve never seen Kelli this upset before and it’s killing me. When Kelli hurts, I hurt, and best believe as soon as that baby drops, I’m at yo neck, Tiffany. Consider this a hearty fuck you, Mrs. DuBois.
I have nothing to add. I agree with everything you said.
I do wanna thank Dro for being a piece of shit and shutting Molly down because she never should have spoken to him. So I’m glad he was trash because it blocked her from doing something stupid and reminded her that you can’t be nice to these niggas.
Taryn: Molly got confidence watching Issa and Lawrence have a cute lil convo. For a split second, she thought she and Dro had what they had. But they didn’t and it blew up in her face cause she put them damn rose-colored glasses on again. She needs to wake up for real and, like you said, stop being nice to these niggas.
She also needs to hop out her feelings about Candice being pregnant by HER husband. Like girl, you look crazy. I get that you have feelings for him still but you need to do the work to heal. That starts with admitting to yourself AND YOUR THERAPIST that this isn’t OK.
Side note: I just realized that Candice was Whitney Houston in the Bobby Brown Story.
Julia: 5: WHY IN THE WHOLE FUCK IS MOLLY UPSET THAT CANDICE IS PREGNANT BY HER HUSBAND?! I just ... whew.
Taryn: Again. Molly being Molly. A phenomenon I still don’t get.
Julia: Tropical Bird Molly. But I think what bothers me the most about the baby shower is the way Tiffany treated Kelli. I keep thinking about it and even though I don’t have anything to add, I am very irked by it. You don’t get to shit on your best friend just because you’re pregnant. That isn’t fair.
Taryn: So unfair and trifling. That really fucked me up.
Julia: The scene between Issa and Lawrence fucked me up in a good way.
Taryn: Same (initially).
Julia: It seems like Issa is past it and Lawrence may be wondering what could be left there. And I hope she comes through and lets him know that the answer is nothing.
I also appreciated that lil reference to the business plan from Season 1.
Taryn: So I was really pleased to hear Issa say she’s moved on. But when Lawrence was talking to Derek about her being a new person, I could tell that was foreshadowing the kind of trouble that involves more than just exchanging pleasantries.
Julia: Same. They’ve both made the changes the other person wanted to see while they were together — but that doesn’t mean get back together. It’s clear to me that they aren’t as compatible as they think they are but, alas, dummies gon dumb.
Taryn: RT Dummies gon dumb. So where you think Nathan at?
Taryn: I think he in Vegas cause his family/felonies (still trying to figure out which one) are in Houston.
Julia: That nigga is hiding a child. And a few warrants.
Taryn: Right. ’Cause his voicemail ain’t set up.
Julia: I also think he’s doing that thing where he’s running because it’s getting too real and he wants to protect Issa from himself. This is all bullshit that comes from a good intention. I just don’t give a fuck about intent. I’m an impact gal.
Taryn: Right. He was acting weird when they were together earlier in the episode. When he was asking about how you know if it’s real, it felt like he was trying to access something beyond their relationship. Of course, it always happens this way though. You get attached and then a nigga goes ghost. I think we all saw it coming sooner or later. I just hate it had to be NathIssa. That convo plus that Lyft investigation triggered tf outta him.
Julia: Yep and he ran. It breaks my heart for Issa.
Taryn: Same. Smh.
Julia: Hopefully her storyline moves beyond the men in her life a bit further because I still feel like it centers niggas too much — which is arguably something many of us women do.
Taryn: I hope this block party reminds her to center herself more.
Julia: I hope she doesn’t give up on it just because Nathan dipped. That’s my biggest fear.
Taryn: I don’t think she will. (Look at me being an optimist again. Wtf is wrong with me?)
Julia: You just believe in the good in people. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.
Taryn: Until they prove me wrong like Nathan did.